This Scottsdale resort is the perfect golf getaway getaway if you hate crowds

Tucked away in the northernmost tip of Scottsdale, Arizona, The Boulders Resort & Spa might not be ideal for visitors who are mainly in Phoenix and Scottsdale for food, drink and fun. If you’re looking for a hotel that will get you to the heart of the action, you should probably look elsewhere.

But if you’re desperate for a getaway where you can escape the stress of 21st-century life and wander into one of North America’s most spectacular deserts, it’s hard to think of a better place for your next getaway than this Arizona getaway.


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Stretching approximately 13,000 acres among sandstone boulders and rock formations dating back 12 million years, the boulders alone make it a great Arizona golf resort. While other resorts in the Phoenix area lure visitors by showcasing desert panoramas, Boulders’ entire setting is stunningly beautiful, and no matter where you stay at the property, you’re likely to enjoy a remarkable view.

If you’re looking for more things to do in Scottsdale, The Boulders Resort has a full-service spa, multiple pools, a championship golf course and several hiking trails. If you’re looking for more to do, buckle up – you’re in for a long commute.


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The Boulders is approximately 35 miles from downtown Phoenix, 25 miles from Old Town Scottsdale, and a short distance from most of the area’s top attractions. If you stick to Boulders and play around Sun Valley, plan on spending plenty of quality time in your car. Then again, if you’re going specifically to play golf in Arizona, you’ll probably have to do a lot of driving anyway.

Yes, you’ll need to drive your own car here, pick up a rental car at the airport, or hail a ride via Uber or Lyft; public transportation options are extremely limited this side of the valley. If you really want to visit and do more than the resorts, you might want to consider options in Carefree and Cave Creek, two smaller towns that don’t require a long highway drive to get to.

what to do

Speaking of what to do, here are some ideas for staying active in hotels and off campus.


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If golf and golf travel is your thing, you might enjoy staying at this Arizona golf resort. Featuring two Jay Morrish-designed courses, Boulders Club combines inviting greens with stunning desert vistas and is perfect for players of all skill levels. I can personally attest to this as I took my first golf lesson here.

If you’re new to golf, too, you’ll have great help at The Boulders.Led by an award-winning veteran golfer donald crawley, their coaching team will help you figure out what you need to do to hit the ball and help you figure out what you’re doing on the field. Before I came here, I didn’t even dare to pick up a golf club. Now I feel better about what to do the next time I’m called to tee off.

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Spa and Fitness Center

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Whether you’re looking for a long massage, a private rock climbing lesson, or just an enjoyable morning swim in one of Arizona’s most scenic pool areas, the Boulders spa and fitness center has something for you provide help.I highly recommend if you’re looking for a great adventure Sonoran and Brandy Discovery Tour and hike through the area. (You can call the concierge and request a guide.) If you just want to relax, head to the hydrotherapy pool and take in the breathtaking views of your surroundings while swimming and/or soaking in the delightful hot water.

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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This is by far the largest and best preserved Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale. If you need a mostly flat, well-paved trail, the Bajada Nature Trail and Cactus Trail are great for casual walkers. For something a little more challenging, try Tom’s Thumb and East End trails for the ultimate outdoor workout amidst epic Sonoran desert scenery.

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Carefree and Cave Creek

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Scottsdale and Paradise Valley offer a cultured and sophisticated “Old West” experience, while Carefree and Cave Creek showcase a different side of Arizona’s “cowboy culture.” Carefree has a quaint central village where you can park your car and wander through the collection of boutiques and restaurants. Cave Creek is more spread out, but there are actually legendary country music and sports bars along Cave Creek Road. They’re not quite what you’ll find in Old Town Scottsdale, but they have their own charm, which visitors will appreciate if they like to party “country style.”

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where to live

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Boulders Resort offers guests four types of accommodation: Cabins, Executive Suites, Villas and Manors. The 550 sq. ft. cottages function as standard hotel rooms and are very spacious. They look and feel more like studio apartments, as they have ample bathroom and closet space, and each room has its own patio. Executive suites are basically cabins, double the size, with larger dining areas with conference tables and wet bars, and larger patios with beehive fireplaces.

If you want more space, you can play in full player mode in Boulders’ villas and estates. The villas look and feel more like luxury condominiums, with full kitchens, patios with gas grills, full laundry rooms, and 1,800 to 2,200 square feet of living space. Estates are essentially private homes with 3,000 to 3,800 square feet of living space, fully self-contained units, fully stocked kitchens and private garages.

On the downside, the rooms and suites look and feel a bit dated in some areas, and occasionally, you might notice some wear and tear that needs repair.As mentioned, the property is quite large and spread out, away from most other places in the valley – Thankfully though, the site does offer an in-resort shuttle service to make getting around the complex easier.

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where to eat

Again, the bad news here is that The Boulders is far from most other places in Scottsdale, and it’s still a bit of a drive to Carefree and Cave Creek for more dining options. The good news, though, is that this Arizona golf resort has some great on-campus dining options.

Grill Restaurant and Bar

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The Grill restaurant is located next to The Boulders Golf Club, with stunning views over the 18th hole, and offers an interesting range of dishes for lunch and dinner. If you like something light, the Tempura Cauliflower with Chilli Sauce is delicious and satisfying. If you need something heartier, the brown butter seared scallops and fettuccine are pretty good.

  • Most suitable: lunch and dinner
  • price: $$

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green stick

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Given that it’s The Boulders’ flagship restaurant, you can tell it’s a special place. Palo Verde offers great views from the outside of the hotel and a bright and cheery dining room inside, making it a great place to enjoy food and refreshments throughout the day. It has a surprisingly extensive breakfast menu, complemented by a traditionally excellent dinner menu. If you get hungry anytime during this period, if you’re ready to order lunch at the Lodge Pool, Palo Verde’s kitchen will serve you.

  • Most suitable: breakfast lunch and dinner
  • price: $$$

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How to Plan Like a Pro

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Since The Boulders is a long way from most of the rest of the Phoenix metropolitan area, it’s wise to plan accordingly. If you can, rent a car to get around. If you can’t or won’t rent a car, be prepared to use Uber and/or Lyft a lot.While the on-site gift shop is quite expensive, there are also some grocery and “big box” stores in the area – e.g. Harper’s Bazaar in Carefree Market and a Safeway, a Target, and a CVS at Scottsdale Road Summit —Here’s where you can get better deals on souvenirs, toiletries, and goodies for your fridge.

If you really don’t want to step out of campus, pack wisely. Make sure you pack all your essentials in your suitcase, and plan to wear your most comfortable walking shoes and sandals to take advantage of Boulders’ beautiful and expansive trails that lead to the resort’s on-site facilities.

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During your Phoenix trip, it’s a good idea to think carefully about what you want to do and where you want to go. If you really want to walk around the whole valley, you probably have better options in downtown Phoenix (or at least close), the Camelback Corridor, Old Town Scottsdale, or anywhere else you want to visit.

If you really want or need to “get away from it all,” you might be able to enjoy a picturesque and peaceful vacation in Boulder. The scenery is basically unbeatable, and the resort offers many outdoor activities to keep you energized without tiring you out.

If you want more recommendations for your next trip, check out the best US cities for foodies or the absolute hottest places on earth. You can also check out these tips for navigating any air travel woes, our list of the ultimate travel essentials, and these five mistakes to avoid on your next road trip No matter where you’re headed next, we want you to travel safely , Have a nice trip.

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